Criticism of Duke AD Kevin White’s comments about NIL reforms continue. In the Lexington, Kentucky paper John Clay goes after him, arguing that “[o]ne problem with such complaints: There’s little fairness in the current system. Stadiums and arenas are not equal in size. Recruiting budgets are not the same. There is no salary cap on coaching staffs or athletic administrations. Schools can spend as much or as little as they want. That’s true of conferences and the NCAA.”
That’s all true. It’s possible though that a lot of critics are missing his main points, intentionally or not: first that it would have a very detrimental effect on Olympic sports and second that the gap between men’s and women’s sports could increase further. We expect people will sue over equity but if, as we mentioned earlier, Cassius Stanley made $400,000 from social media, that’s personal income and it would be hard to argue that Title IX applies to the free market.
As for recruiting, Brevin Knight criticism was over perceived unfair advantages he believes Duke has. As we said, he’s not wrong but it’s not as if that was just awarded to Duke.
The criticisms Clay makes are more interesting but also perhaps off the mark. Schools can spend what they can afford, not what they want. And major powers in populated areas will have lucrative opportunities for athletes that, say, Campbell can’t have.
It’s possible, in other words, that White was addressing the overall health of the game and college athletics in general rather than looking out for Duke.